Pakistani police register case against ex-CIA chief in drone strike

Islamabad : Pakistani police on Thursday filed murder and terrorism charges against the former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in connection with a drone strike that killed two people in 2009, lawyers here said.

Kareem Khan, a resident of Mirali in North Waziristan Agency, who lost his son and brother in the drone attack, approached the Islamabad High Court to register a case against two CIA officials, Jonathan Banks and John A. Rizzo. Khan moved the application in 2010, Xinhua reported.

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“The Islamabad Police registered the case on charges of murder, waging war against Pakistan and terrorism,” said Mirza Shahzad Akbar, lawyer for the complainant.

Thursday’s development in the case followed directions by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court wherein, on April 7, he ordered Inspector General of Islamabad Capital Territory Tahir Alam Khan to register a criminal case against former CIA station chief in Islamabad Jonathan Banks and CIA legal counsel John A. Rizzo for offences of murder, conspiracy, waging war against Pakistan and terrorism.

The Islamabad police have written to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) secretariat to transfer the case on the grounds that the incident occurred in their jurisdiction, the lawyer said.

“We are happy that finally a criminal case has been registered against the CIA officials for killings in drone strikes, but we will definitely challenge the police’s action to transfer the case to FATA without any legal justification,” said Akbar, who has been pursuing this case since 2010.

“Today with registration of FIR against the killers of my son, brother and thousands of other civilian victims, the position of drone victims has been vindicated that CIA is committing acts of murder in Pakistan by killing our innocent civilians with impunity,” said Kareem Khan.